The Jakarta Post
The 2016 Idul Fitri mass exodus has seen a lower number of road accidents and deaths compared to last year's figures, a minister has said, amid reports that heavy traffic congestion contributed to the deaths of some people in Brebes, Central Java.
"Data from the Korlantas [National Police Traffic Corps], from six days prior to Idul Fitri until the first day of Idul Fitri has seen a 21 percent reduction in road accidents," Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan said on Thursday, adding that the number of deaths caused by land transportation accidents had declined by a quarter this year when compared to the previous year.
According to official data, the number of accidents recorded from six days before Idul Fitri to one day after it was 1,289, an improvement from 1,622 during the same period in 2015. Meanwhile, the death toll recorded was 244, or a 25 percent reduction from the 328 deaths last year. Throughout the 12 days before Idul Fitri, a total of 2,327 accidents were recorded, causing approximately Rp 4,8 billion (US$ 364,224) in losses.
Many travelers have voiced complaints and expressed frustrations during this year’s mass exodus, also known as mudik.
Public attention has been focused on the notorious Pegatan-Brebes toll road where holidaymakers’ vehicles lined up for more than 20 kilometers on Sunday to pass the East Brebes exit gate, locally coined the “Brexit”.
The Brebes Health Agency reported 18 deaths related to the mass exodus in the city alone, with some of them likely caused by traffic-induced health problems. Jonan said traffic jams should not be blamed for the deaths as traffic congestion cannot kill people. (ary)
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